by the Economic and Community Development Department, City of Maricopa
For Chris Spear, cooking was more than a means to an end, it was his passion.
A native of Long Island, New York, he realized in high school he was not meant for a traditional education. Since his previous work experience was tied to the restaurant industry, Spear applied and was accepted to the world-renowned Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.
Chris purchased his first home in Maricopa in 2013, attracted by low housing costs and the potential for growth he saw in the city. He commuted to Tempe working at Snooze A.M., a popular breakfast franchise, but soon grew weary of making food inspired by other chefs.
This fueled his desire to be his own boss, eventually leading him to open his own catering company, Cooking From Roots, where he had the freedom to design his own menus and serve the community.
The response was immense. Residents’ positive response and demand eventually prompted Chris to expand his catering and meal preparation business; within five years he opened Roots Eatery.
Spear’s restaurant offers a unique and sophisticated menu at affordable prices in a casual dining atmosphere. It has traditional dishes such as crab cakes, Caesar salad and beef bourguignon as well as more unconventional fare, with entrees like Cajun blackened alligator and jerk-spiced jackfruit tacos.
Chris cycles and changes his menu seven to eight times a year. Seasonal availability and experimentation are some of the key driving factors for updating the menu, but keeping some of the local favorites year-round is also important for viability especially in the current climate.
From the current menu, local favorites include chicken Marsala, beef filet and the restaurant’s now famous bread pudding. Residents also love the famous Roots Eatery weekend brunch offerings, complete with a signature Roots Bloody Mary and mimosas.
Despite the increasing popularity of the restaurant, there are no plans to open a second or franchise the Roots brand, although Spear currently is looking into expanding his restaurant space.
“Nothing beats owning and operating my restaurant in Maricopa,” Spear says. “It’s where I live; the community is amazing; it’s home.”
Roots Eatery is at 20046 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite 104. For a list of current offerings and to place an order online, visit www.rootseateryaz.com